Have You Heard of Ghost Fishing?

Threat of Ghost Fishing Nets and How Can We Help

Ghost fishing has received much attention in the past couple of years, especially due to the way it threatens marine animals. People have been leaving discarded fishing gear in water bodies for a long period of time. Both marine animals as well as birds can get trapped in these fishing lines. They also tend to swallow all the fishing related debris, which can lead towards injuries and distress in the long run. Some of them might have to experience painful deaths after suffering for several hours.

Recent studies have shown that more than 640,000 tons of ghost fishing gear are being abandoned in oceans per given year. It can be considered one of the biggest threats faced by wildlife and marine animals. Many marine animals, including turtles, seabirds, seals, porpoises, dolphins and whales breed near the coasts. When they get trapped in ghost fishing nets, they will suffer agonizing and slow deaths. Therefore, we should not be ignorant of the threat faced by marine animals due to ghost fishing nets.

Along with the technological developments, we can see an increase in the production of non-biodegradable fishing gear mainly made out of plastic. Such fishing gear has been in use since the 1950s and is still being retrieved from ocean today. Therefore, the fishing gear that we abandon now can create destructive results for the next 100 years.

What can we do in order to save marine animals from the threat associated with ghost fishing nets?

A large number of animal protection campaigns have started with the objective of helping marine animals stay away from the potential danger associated with fishing nets. They request local visitors, beach users, and ocean lovers to capture photos of ghost fishing gear that they come across. These photos will then be sent to the seafood companies and the Government to let them know about the negative impact created on the environment. Then, hopefully, necessary measures will be taken to clear up ghost fishing nets and make sure that no more fishing gear is abandoned in the delicate oceanic eco -system.

Some leading clothing manufacturers have been very creative and have converted abandoned fishing nets into wearable treasures. Their efforts have become successful and there is a huge demand for their innovative products. These products also have the benefit of creating awareness around the world and hopefully people think twice before leaving any of their gear behind. Another great effort to help marine animals is by an Italian company that has started collecting the ghost fishing nets with the objective of recycling them. All these efforts can leave safe and clear water for marine animals to live and for scuba divers to explore.

BY-CATCH IS BIG THREAT FOR TURTLES  has more information about the threat turtles have to face in the ocean.

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